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Meet the 2012 LAFF Filmmakers #1: 'The Compass Is Carried by the Dead Man' Director Arturo Pons

By Indiewire | Indiewire June 11, 2012 at 1:52PM

Born and raised in Mexico, as a kid director Arturo Pons recorded videos of himself and his friends skateboarding. He later moved to Spain to learn about making movies professionally. In college, he majored in Media and Communications and worked on short films and TV programs.
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"The Compass Is Carried by the Dead Man" Director Arturo Pons.
"The Compass Is Carried by the Dead Man" Director Arturo Pons.

Born and raised in Mexico, as a kid director Arturo Pons recorded videos of himself and his friends skateboarding. He later moved to Spain to learn about making movies professionally. In college, he majored in Media and Communications and worked on short films and TV programs.

"I think I am more focused on the image than the storytelling, even though I love to write, but looking for the development of the shape is my target," says Pons.

His new film "The Compass Is Carried by the Dead Man" is screening in the narrative competition at this year's LAFF.

What it's about: A Mexican boy bound for Chicago tries to cross the border, but is the crowded wagon he rides in going the right way? An offbeat, allegorical odyssey that blends absurd humor with pastoral imagery. A movie about disorientation and faith.

Director Pons says: "I tried, as hard as I could, to make a film with spirit. I mean, that the movie itself has some kind of life. Since I began writing the script I just let it breath. That is why it has such a particular narrative, I think. In the shooting, that spirit became a spirit of joy."

On the challenges: "It is a peculiar story that needed an specific kind of filming. So finding a producer who supported the project was not easy. Ozcar (my producer) is very brave. For meis a premise to have a good time while you are filming. If you and the crew don´t have fun making the movie it doesn´t worth to work on it. That is the most important job in this work, as a director, to look that everybody feels fine and enjoying what they are doing for your film."

What would you like LAFF audiences to come away with after seeing your film? "It's a comedy that leaves you with a permanent smile and not just an ephemeral laugh.

"This is my second festival with a feature film, so I am very exited about it. I've always felt attracted to L.A.: the music, the people, skateboards, films; so how should I feel having the possibility to share my work there? I believe it's going to be awesome."

On the film's inspirations: "I think I have both influences and references. I mean that Buñuel's, Fellini's, Kusturica's, Kaurismaki's, Breson's and Roy Andersson's movies have influenced me with the same spirit of making a movie, a spirit of joy. As a reference of how to make a movie (the shape of a film), I have all of them as a reference and also Resnais's, Bergman's, Kubrick's and lots of movies. But also I have had the literature of Jorge Ibargüengoitia and Juan Rulfo present since the writing of the script until the final cut of edition."

Future projects: 'The names? 'East Red Moon Landing' and 'God Bless the Worms.'"

Indiewire invited LAFF competition directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival. Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Meet the 2012 LAFF Filmmakers





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